life – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 The Paradox of a Good Friday http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/04/14/paradox-good-friday/ Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:04:32 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5429 “Keep your mind in hell, and despair not.” This admonition from St. Silouan is appropriate for Good Friday, when most of Christendom commemorates Christ’s descent into hell, where he shatters its captives’ chains. Many modern Western theologians have abandoned this teaching, but even if you reject it you are still, if you are a Christian, …

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Lament http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/04/17/lament/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/04/17/lament/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:01:34 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4499 When we tucked what remained of that little girl into the earth, I was relieved it was over. I was filled with something that felt like transcendence. We had weathered the storm, we had kept the faith, we had given her back to God, and now we would await patiently the life of the world …

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Past where legs can carry http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/02/06/past-where-legs-can-carry/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/02/06/past-where-legs-can-carry/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 21:11:06 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3805 The day after an amazingly talented actor pushed heroin into his vein and died, I saw yet another study purporting to show that we live in the best of times. It’s hard to disagree. Infant mortality and poverty are plummeting. Our lifespans are being extended. More people worldwide are literate, and more of them can …

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Heaven presses in http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/05/31/heaven-presses-in/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/05/31/heaven-presses-in/#comments Tue, 31 May 2011 22:14:09 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3279 I was asked to speak to some graduates last week, and so I spoke to them about finding their place in the world and about endurance in the face of suffering and about decisions that once we make them can never, ever be undone. I don’t know how to talk about these things any more …

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Houston, we have a problem http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/02/11/houston-we-have-a-problem/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2011/02/11/houston-we-have-a-problem/#comments Fri, 11 Feb 2011 15:10:37 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3242 You know you’ve been flying too much when you sleep through the better part of an in-flight emergency. It wasn’t the exclamations of my fellow passengers that stirred me from my takeoff doze, so much as the sense that what had been a lifting sensation was now most definitely a sinking sensation. And most of …

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The written pages http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/12/06/the-written-pages/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/12/06/the-written-pages/#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:32:50 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3105 I took some time off writing here because I didn’t have anything to say. The truth is I went through a spate of those long, dark soul-nights, the kind where you don’t sleep except for a few snatches of time, and always you feel either feverish or dead, and mostly you wish you were the …

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The found church http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/07/12/the-found-church/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/07/12/the-found-church/#comments Mon, 12 Jul 2010 23:24:22 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2522 Church is light streaming in, mingled voices, the expectation — sometimes against all experience — that this time God will meet you here, or at the very least, that you will leave your miserable ways long enough to meet Him. It doesn’t happen every week or even more than a few times in your life. …

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Every day a memorial day http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/05/31/every-day-a-memorial-day/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/05/31/every-day-a-memorial-day/#comments Mon, 31 May 2010 13:55:17 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2445 Yesterday the Eastern Orthodox celebrated the saints, and today many Americans celebrate fallen soldiers, and in the midst of remembrances of saints and soldiers I find myself thinking on a little girl who fought a great battle, and endured worse than a bullet, and who now watches from the blessed cloud of witnesses. It’s a …

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Of God and Baal http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/01/05/of-god-and-baal/ Tue, 05 Jan 2010 15:34:31 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=1913 The great division within man is rooted not in ideology or religion or tribe, but in darkness and death, counterposed against light and life, which comes not from man but is placed within him. The line separating dark from light is the battleground of the soul, and it runs, as Solzhenitsyn said, through the heart …

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Steadfast to this turn http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/01/04/steadfast-to-this-turn/ Mon, 04 Jan 2010 23:14:00 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=1911 This in memory of Peggy Rabb, who I knew only a little and a little while, but who was all kindness to me. In our first conversation we talked about things I have written and things she has written and writers we know, and she told me where she would be buried, and she spoke …

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